Colorado Rockies righty Tyler Chatwood came into tonight’s contest against the San Francisco Giants with the best road-ERA in Major League Baseball. His 1.88 ERA away from Coors Field was pretty comfortably ahead of Steven Wright — not the comedian, the knuckleballer for the Boston Red Sox — who is in second place with a 2.09 road-ERA. Clayton Kershaw is in third at 2.28.
Chatwood is even further out in front now, bettering those numbers tonight with an eight-inning, three-hit shutout, lowering his road-ERA to an absurd 1.69. He also reached a career-high in strikeouts, and didn’t walk a batter until the seventh, and didn’t allow a hit after the third, making his last start of 2016 one of his absolute best.
The Rockies weren’t faring much better against Jeff Samardzija until Carlos Gonzalez almost broke the tie by himself with a high drive that just barely stayed in the ballpark, bouncing off the top of the left-field fence as he strode in safely with a double. A batter later, Nolan Arenado delivered a broken-bat single up the middle, scoring CarGo and driving in his 130th run if the season.
In the seventh, David Dahl used an inside-out swing to drive a ball into the left-center-field gap for a double, his 12th of the season. Dahl came around to score on a line drive single to right off the bat of Gerardo Parra, making it 2-0.
Chatwood continued to cruise, at one point retiring 11 straight before walking Brandon Belt — the first free pass Chatwood allowed all night — to lead off the bottom of the seventh. But Chatty got Buster Posey to ground into a beautifully turned double play by Arenado and Daniel Descalso. Then Chatwood struck out Hunter Pence on three pitches, pumping his fist in celebration as he walked off the mound.
He began the eighth inning the same way, with a four-pitch walk, this time to Brandon Crawford. And again, in short order, Chatwood produced a groundball and another great turn from DJ LeMahieu and Cristhian Adames.
Boone Logan started the bottom of the ninth by allowing a double to Kelby Tomlinson, the Giants first his since the third inning, but Logan settled down, striking out the next two batters. He got Belt to hit a grounder that first baseman (?) Gerardo Parra made a nice play on but Logan hesitated in getting to first allowing Belt to reach and creating a nervous situation for Adam Ottavino.
But Ottavino won a battle with Posey, eventually getting him to ground out to third to preserve the shutout and the win.
By the Numbers
2: 40+130 – With a single up the middle in the top of the fourth that scored Carlos Gonzalez, Nolan Arenado tallied his 130th RBI making him just the third player in the history Major League Baseball to have back-to-back seasons with at least 40 home runs and 130 RBI before the age of 26.
1.69 – Tyler Chatwood finished the season with a 1.69 road-ERA, the lowest mark in Colorado Rockies franchise history.
9 – Chatwood also had a new season-high nine strikeouts.
1992 – Nolan Arenado currently leads the NL in home runs, and DJ LeMahieu in batting average. Should the season end this way, they would become the first NL teammates to lead those two categories since the San Diego Padres in 1992.
53 – Tyler Chatwood finished the season having allowed just 53 hits away from Coors. He is truly the road warrior.
The rubber match of the series takes place tomorrow night in a matchup between Jon Gray and Johnny Cueto. First pitch is at 8:15 MST for the last road game of the year before the Rockies return home for their final three games against the Milwaukee Brewers.